About Me

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Victoria, Australia
I am an author of Young Adult Fiction books. I worked as a teacher in the Pacific Islands for seven years. Whilst in the Solomon Islands I taught PSSC English before the ethnic tension in 2000 forced a change of plans. I love Pacific literature, art and music. You can find me on Facebook at Beth Montgomery Author.

Friday, August 10, 2012

What Becomes of the Broken-Hearted by Alan Duff

What Becomes of the
(Random House, 1996)
What Becomes of the Broken-Hearted is the sequel to Once Were Warriors and Alan Duff just doesn't let up in his portrayl of a drunken, violent and disfunctional family. The book follows the fortunes of Maori man Jake Heke and his estranged wife and kids after the tragic climax of Once Were Warriors. Jake ends up sleeping on the streets and the gang culture is still part of his sons' lives. This book is just as shocking as the first but Duff takes the reader to such a depth of understanding and compassion for this damaged family that I found myself totally captured by his writing.
   Again he uses an odd style of limited punctuation that takes a few pages to adjust to, but once you get the rhythm of the voice you are spell-bound, right to the end. If you can put up with the violence and grasp the small snippets of hope that Duff throws out, then you will make it to the end, breathless and satisfied.
   I wouldn't recommend this one to young readers, the content is just too confronting. But many adults would no doubt enjoy it.

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